I just installed Flowx on my Android smartphone (OnePlus 5). Since the developer wants to provide a good experience, I hope the following feedback will be useful.
I found out about the application from Popular Science (no link; “new users are only allowed to post 2 links”). I wanted to find an application that would show me the current and near-term outdoor humidity for health reasons.
After installing the application from the Google Play Store, I had no trouble setting my location or understanding the map. However, I couldn’t figure out what the 2 graphs were trying to show me or what the row of red and blue numbers corresponded to at the top of the screen. It was also scary to suddenly lose the top bar. It felt like Flowx was trying to hijack my phone like malware.
I guessed that most of the mystery numbers were from irrelevant measurements so I tapped the 3 dots on the upper-right and tapped Edit Data.
- Relative Humidity
- Wind Speed
- Wind Vectors
- UV Index
And tapped OK.
The screen was still a confusing mess. I tapped the hamburger menu in the upper left-hand corner, and then Editor. I didn’t see anything there about simplifying things.
I left the app and tried adding the home screen widget. Although the graph was still mystifying, I was happy that I could cut it down to 2 days of mysterious colors rather than 10 days.
I tried Hamburger → Settings and looked through App Theme and Widget Theme. That didn’t help either. I saw little icons from the main screen under Units but no text descriptions. And, it’s been a while since my last physics class so it took a while to realize that “hPa” meant “hectopascals”. And then I had to think for a while to realize that the picture of a rising sun with a line meant “relative humidity”.
In desperation, I long-pressed the yellow graph and saw “Delete Graph”. The terrible ugly graph went away but left behind the weird red and blue graph. I tried long-pressing on the red and blue graph and then tapped Set Range. It showed a single unchecked “Temperature” checkbox so I was still confused.
After pressing “Add Graph”, I saw a list of phrases that are not related to weather:
- Monkeys Wedding
- Cricket Chirps
- Sun Dogs
- Starry Night
- Sailors Delight
I guess it’s nice to know that the baffling yellow thing is a “Monkeys Wedding”.
I finally gave up and went to a NOAA website. I started trying to match their numbers with the Flowx numbers. Finally, after a lot of back and forth, I realized that the 3 numbers on the right of the “Monkeys Wedding” were wind, the red and blue numbers were temperature, the green line was wind, and the gray hump was meaningless.
Now that I had some understanding of the graph, I went back to Hamburger menu → Editor and saw a faded out entry for “Graphs” with a “PRO” button on the right side. When I tapped it, I saw an advertisement for the Pro version. Since Google takes a cut of all Google Play Store revenue, I started looking for the main Flowx website to buy the software directly. I couldn’t find a way.
I returned to the Pro Version screen in the application and saw “14 days Free Trial”. When I tapped the orange button to “BUY NOW” (even though it’s a “Free Trial”), Google said that I would have to pay money. The screen said “You won’t be charged if you cancel before Apr 15, 2021”, “We’ll send you a reminder 2 days before your trial ends”, and then it shows the last 4 digits of my credit card.
Below those ominous words, Google says “Billing starts at the end of your free trial”.
While I’m fairly certain that I will remember to cancel in time, those words of doom don’t make me feel any better after going through this unpleasant journey. I should cancel my trial right away but if I do that, I don’t know if I’ll be able to resume the “14 days Free Trial” later. Expecting Google to have an API for developers to update their “Free Trial” text to match the # of remaining days is probably asking for too much.
Thanks for reading this far. You probably already thought of a bunch of things to improve or change. My specific actionable comments in order of importance are:
- Don’t start in full-screen mode by default.
- Have a legend (even if you have to put it behind the hamburger menu or an “i” with a circle around it on the main screen
- Don’t make the Help fill the entire screen. Help should help people, not test their ability to remember information in their short-term memory as they switch between Help and the main application.
- Label “Select Graph” differently. When I long-press on a graph, I’ve already selected it.
- Change the “Select Graph” screen’s label to something else (e.g. “Themes” or “Styles”).
- Make it clearer that you have more metrics than whatever fits in the first screen-ful under “General”
- (if possible) Find a way to offer a free trial that doesn’t get contradicted by Google almost immediately.
Finally, a feature request.
You already built a great “Edit Widget” screen. Please provide a way to access that screen after I add the widget. I might’ve made a mistake during the initial setup process.
Incidentally, I know that the gray hump isn’t actually meaningless but someone else will have to tell me what measurement is. I’ve already spent at least an hour trying out the program and writing this post.